World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the world’s leading conservation organization, seeks a strategic, innovative food systems visionary, a dynamic communicator and storyteller, a successful fundraiser, and an empathic, people-focused manager to serve as the Deputy of the Food Goal on the Freshwater and Food team within WWF-US. The Freshwater and Food team works to address the two biggest threats to nature: agriculture and infrastructure. The Deputy Goal Lead, Food will serve as a key thought leader and executive manager for the primary Food initiatives and will have a mandate to integrate Food workstreams across Freshwater and Food more broadly. The incumbent will lead and support the implementation of the primary initiatives within WWF-US’s Food area including Sustainable Protein/Nutrition Systems, which includes Aquaculture, Livestock Systems, and Healthy Diets and Consumption, and Food Loss and Waste. The incumbent will work closely with the Food initiative leads, the F&F management team, the SVP, and leadership in other Goal areas and across the WWF network as appropriate, to drive strategic integration, execution, and impact of WWF’s Food portfolio across sectors and in our priority landscapes. The incumbent will be a critical member of the F&F management team and will work closely with other F&F managers and the Deputies across the organization in a collaborative, matrixed team environment. The incumbent will support engagement of many of WWF’s most significant partners from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors, as well as our largest donors. The incumbent will also harness the full reach and resources of the WWF Network including cross-cutting initiatives across other Goal teams, convening multi-disciplinary and geographically dispersed teams from across WWF’s Network of Offices, especially during the project design phase. The incumbent oversees strategy development and implementation at a high level and trouble shoots with WWF Offices and donors as needed. The incumbent will be responsible with the team for driving WWF’s thought leadership, innovation, and resource and partner mobilization in the Food space, which includes nature-positive production, deforestation and conversion-free supply chains, regenerative agriculture, sustainable diets and consumption, and food, loss, and waste. The incumbent will also be accountable for reporting impacting of WWF’s Food activities against our high-level goals and objectives.
Oversees Major Food Initiatives and Conservation Impact: Manages and supports the primary initiative leads in the strategic design, planning, and implementation of WWF’s primary Food initiatives, including Sustainable Protein/Nutrition and Food Loss and Waste. The incumbent will ensure the Food portfolio and initiatives have a strong conservation case with measurable impacts and a tight financial/resourcing case. Ensures that the Food initiatives are integrated with Freshwater objectives, WWF’s landscape priorities including the Northern Great Plains and globally, and other Goal team priorities and workstreams, as appropriate. Quickly forms solutions to difficult challenges arising during implementation and (re)negotiates projects with WWF Offices, external partners (private sector, government, and NGOs) and major donors as needed.Team Building and Management: Directly supervises the leads of the major Food initiatives, specifically Food Loss and Waste and Sustainable Protein/Nutrition. Sets goals and expectations. Tracks and recruits talent as needed, creates opportunities for recognition and professional development, as well as feedback and coaching of team members. Will also work with the F&F Administrative Support team to ensure that each major Food initiative has the required project management and technical staffing and configuration, drawing on technical team members in WWF-US and WWF’s global Network. Provides broader management support to the SVP, Freshwater & Food and across the whole team, including short- and long-range planning support, the strategic alignment and placement of talent and financial resources.
Thought Leadership, Innovation, and Change Management: Provides expertise on how to identify and shape research strategies that address the key biodiversity and climate threats from the production of food and soft commodities. Identifies global trends, opportunities, and challenges and ensures they are integrated into WWF’s thinking and approach. Serves as an innovator and change leader on the Freshwater & Food team, in WWF more generally, and with key WWF partners and appropriate external audiences. Helps to consolidate and share lessons learned and thought leadership across the WWF Food portfolio to influence a wider set of internal and external stakeholders and leverage the biggest impact. Contributes to the development of new, big ideas and strategies through research, project, and proposal development. Helps to build and maintain strategic partnerships.
Policy, Advocacy, and Outreach: Is a WWF champion for sustainable food systems, especially related to supply chain work and regenerative agriculture. Serves as a public face on food related trends, sustainable food system issues, and supply chain programs. Engages policymakers and institutions to address public policy commitments. Engages the broadest community of individual and institutional partners to drive research agenda and implementation and impact plan by helping create awareness and build consensus about new issues and trends; oversees partnership cultivation and the development of key strategies with others; represents WWF-US on key platforms and at key events. Shares feedback from those interactions with the WWF Network to improve the organization’s ability to work with a wide range of partners. Builds a formal community of global experts and practitioners related to food systems.
Resource Mobilization: Works closely with SVP and Food team to fundraise for WWF initiatives and landscape priorities.
Performs other duties as assigned.
- Master’s Degree (Doctorate or MBA preferred) in environmental conservation, ecological science, agriculture value chains, agriculture development, international development economics or public policy.
- At least 12 years of experience including 8 years developing and managing major, complex projects and partnerships, preferably with a private sector focus, and at least 5 years with executive management and leadership experience
- Strong written and verbal communication and interpersonal skills are required to translate science into practice, including effective public speaking, writing, and one-on-one communications.
- Excellent project management and organizational skills; knowledge, experience and certification using project management tools a plus.
- Technical capacity and experience in managing a global network of applied technical experts and ability to connect, collaborate, and influence them is required.
- Ability to translate technical concepts and ideas into actionable recommendations, quantifiable targets, and milestones.
- Previous experience(s) working with producers, farming systems, supply chain management, and/or corporate engagement are highly desirable.
- Knowledge of current metrics approaches, methodologies, and platforms relevant to the sustainable food, agriculture, beverage, and textile sectors, as well as knowledge and relationships with relevant initiatives and platforms that are developing sustainability indicators to monitor the social and environmental impacts of food and agriculture.
- Ability to effectively prioritize and produce high-quality work under time constraints and excellent organizational and project leadership skills.
- Excellent professional judgement and personal work ethic, a self-reflective learner who is open to continuous growth and development through giving and receiving constructive feedback, adaptive learning, and mentorship.
- Ability to operate with grace and good judgment under pressure, to meet deadlines and commitments.
- Creative, innovative thinker, self-starter, and problem-solver; someone who can spot risks and design and manage work to mitigate and manage them, someone who is not afraid of making mistakes or engaging team members for support.
- Proven ability to work independently as well as collaboratively in a matrixed team environment.
- Excellent facilitation and negotiation skills
- Demonstrated ability to mobilize financial resources for conservation.
- Fluency in English is required. Additional language skills are a plus including Spanish, Portuguese, Thai, and/or Mandarin.
- National and international travel required (up to 30%, subject to safety and COVID-19 restrictions).
- Adherence to WWF organization values, policies, and environmental and social safeguards framework
- Commitment to the Freshwater & Food team’s efforts around Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI)
- Submit cover letter and resume through our Careers Page, Requisition #22057
- Due to the high volume of applications we are not able to respond to inquiries via phone
As an EOE/AA employer, WWF will not discriminate in its employment practices due to an applicant’s race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, marital status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, disability, or protected Veteran status. WWF values diversity and inclusion and welcomes diverse candidates to apply